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Copy of STALKING AND ITS RELATION TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: PERCEPTION, PREVALENCE AND RESPONSE IN LITHUANIA (PERARA)

 

Researchers from the Law Institute of the Lithuanian Centre for Social Sciences are carrying out the study “Stalking and Its Relation to Domestic Violence: Perception, Prevalence and Response in Lithuania” (PERARA), which is funded by the Research Council of Lithuania under the competitive priority research programme “Welfare Society”. Its main goal – to examine the phenomenon of stalking in Lithuania – is supported by a large group of institutional partners, such as the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Lithuania, the Ministry of Social Security and Labour of the Republic of Lithuania, the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Republic of Lithuania, the National Courts Administration, and the Prison Department under the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Lithuania.

Stalking is a serious public health issue, as well as a harmful form of victimisation that has severe physical, social and / or psychological consequences for the victim, particularly in cases of domestic stalking. The magnitude of this problem is growing, and the rapid development of digital technologies is also contributing to it. According to representative national surveys, the rate of stalking in Western countries is high: one in every five women and one in every ten men has been stalked at some point in their lives. In addition, research findings show that when confronted with stalking behaviour, police officers or other officials, as well as those who are stalked, are often unaware of the gravity of the situation and, as a result, frequently deny or minimise the significance of stalking. The aim of the first study on this topic in Lithuania is to examine the perception and prevalence of stalking in Lithuania, review existing response options, and suggest possible means to improve them.

Anyone interested in the phenome-non of stalking or seeking assistance with current or previous stalking is encouraged to contact the research team via e-mail stalking@teise.org.

 

The project’s empirical study will be divided into four sections:
– A representative survey of Lithuanian residents;
– An analysis of decisions in criminal cases involving stalking over the previous five years;
– A survey with representatives of law enforcement institutions (police officers, prosecutors) and judges;
– A focused group discussion with assistance providers and policy-makers.

It is expected that the results of the project will help to assess both the needs of stalking victims and the assistance they need, as well as the appropriate sanctions for stalkers, the attitude of law enforcement authorities toward stalking, including their ability to recognise the dangers of such behaviour and to critically assess the problems of legal regulation of responsibility for this activity. The results of the arranged studies are also expected to allow for the determination of the directions of multi-agency cooperation by ensuring stalking prevention and a coordinated response by various institutions to the phenomenon of stalking. The project will serve as a foundation for monitoring this phenomenon in our country and will allow for intercultural comparisons.

The project’s findings will be published in scientific publications (articles and studies) as well as articles of popular science. Practical recommendations based on the research for project partners regarding assistance to stalking victims, assurance of their safety, and opportunities for preventive work in various groups of people will undoubtedly contribute to the implementation of the concept of a safe, healthy, and inclusive society. The results of the study will be presented at various national and international conferences.

The competitive priority research programme “Welfare Society” is intended to fund complex scientific research on the assumptions of welfare society and its development in Lithuania.

The team of project researchers are: Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ilona Laurinaitytė (Project Leader), Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ilona Michailovič and PhD student Liubovė Jarutienė.

The project will be executed from 01-02-2021 to 31-12-2022.

Budget of the project is EUR 100,000.

Funding was allocated by the Research Council of Lithuania (LMTLT), Contract No. S-GEV-21-4.

Photo by Rita Kazanavičiūtė.

The idea of the project is supported by: